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View Full Version : Old collectible cues - opinions on refinishing?



tateuts
02-25-2005, 10:50 PM
I was asked earlier about whether someone should have an old collectible cue refinished.

My answer was that I like my old cues to look like they did the day they left the shop - in other words, professionally restored. While I want cues to pretty much be 100% original as far as the parts, I really don't like to leaving an old, unattractive finish on the cue because it hides the work and the beauty. Who wants to look at cracked and peeling lacquer?

I try to keep, if at all possible, wraps, ferrules, and all the other parts original. if the original finish is good, of course I like to keep it.

What's your feeling on refinishes?

Chris

FastJoey
02-26-2005, 01:39 AM
so far i have not purchased an antique cue(lack of Money)..but the antiques i have purchased over the years i leave as is...i enjoy the original finish and the patia that age gives it....there are going to be peope that will side with the both of us....depending on each individuals personal tastes....

Rich R.
02-26-2005, 04:30 AM
I have an old cue, although it is probably only valuable to me, for sentimental reasons. I asked Tim Scruggs about refinishing it. He advised me not to have it refinished. He said that, if I ever wanted to sell it, collectors look for the old finish and patina.
I didn't refinish the cue.

dg-in-centralpa
02-26-2005, 06:39 AM
I agree with you Rich. Years ago I collected coins, and if someone tried to clean a coin to give it a new look, the value dropped substantially. I personally would not have the cue refinished, unless some of the original parts were missing and all it is now is just a playing cue.

DG

Rod
02-26-2005, 10:08 AM
The finish may be worn off or very thin on older cues. Like you Chris I'd rather see the hidden beauty. I think it may come down to how it's finished. In other words, not 10 coats of todays high gloss with a real deep finish. Maybe use 3 or 4 coats of a light sprayed finish. Either that or refinish in laquer as it was originally.

I don't know the exact number of coats of either. I'm just trying to give an example. Old cues finish simply shouldn't look like they do today.

Rod

tateuts
02-26-2005, 11:03 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> The finish may be worn off or very thin on older cues. Like you Chris I'd rather see the hidden beauty. I think it may come down to how it's finished. In other words, not 10 coats of todays high gloss with a real deep finish. Maybe use 3 or 4 coats of a light sprayed finish. Either that or refinish in laquer as it was originally.

I don't know the exact number of coats of either. I'm just trying to give an example. Old cues finish simply shouldn't look like they do today.

Rod <hr /></blockquote>

I agree, but a lot of people don't.

I think "restoration' is the key word. Keeping it as close to original or like it as possible.

Cars, for example, are worth a lot more restored which includes a quality paint job to appear as original off the showroom floor. The old cars were painted with inferior lacquers and enamels, but when restored are painted with todays much more durable acrylics.

When it comes to cues, personally I can't tell the difference between a hand rubbed 10 coat lacquer finish vs
a two coat polyurethane finish buffed out. Oil and shellac finishes can be duplicated and look quite authentic.

Gun collecting - if anyone "refinishes", meaning re-plating it destroys the value. Re-bluing is not a good idea either. The history and originality of the gun is more important than the aesthetics.

Antiques - Many are restored and are far more valuable from it.

Coins - polishing hurts the value.

Paintings - Many paintings are expertly restored. Otherwise, who would want to look at them? Even the Mona Lisa is buried under layers of old varnishes clouding her image on a canvas of warping wood. Restoration experts do not want to mess with it, not for the sake of keeping her original, but because they are afraid of messing up the painting!

Chris

tateuts
02-26-2005, 11:10 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Rod:</font><hr> The finish may be worn off or very thin on older cues. Like you Chris I'd rather see the hidden beauty. I think it may come down to how it's finished. In other words, not 10 coats of todays high gloss with a real deep finish. Maybe use 3 or 4 coats of a light sprayed finish. Either that or refinish in laquer as it was originally.

I don't know the exact number of coats of either. I'm just trying to give an example. Old cues finish simply shouldn't look like they do today.

Rod <hr /></blockquote>

I agree, but a lot of people don't.

I think "restoration' is the key word. Keeping it as close to original or like it as possible.

Cars, for example, are worth a lot more restored which includes a quality paint job to appear as original off the showroom floor. The old cars were painted with inferior lacquers and enamels, but when restored are painted with todays much more durable acrylics.

When it comes to cues, personally I can't tell the difference between a hand rubbed 10 coat lacquer finish vs
a two coat polyurethane finish buffed out. Oil and shellac finishes can be duplicated and look quite authentic.

Gun collecting - if anyone "refinishes", meaning re-plating it destroys the value. Re-bluing is not a good idea either. The history and originality of the gun is more important than the aesthetics.

Antiques - Many are restored and are far more valuable from it.

Coins - polishing hurts the value.

Paintings - Many paintings are expertly restored. Otherwise, who would want to look at them? Even the Mona Lisa is buried under layers of old varnishes clouding her image on a canvas of warping wood. Restoration experts do not want to mess with it, not for the sake of keeping her original, but because they are afraid of messing up the painting!

Chris

Popcorn
02-26-2005, 02:12 PM
If you are doing it for yourself go ahead, otherwuse don't.
A refinished cue will limit your market as far as buyers. It adds very little value if any to the cue. IE. you sell a Balabushka cue UNrefinished, it may decreses the value only by the cost of the job say a few hundred dollars. It is a small bargaining chip and never stands in the way of the sale. Once refinished your buyer market has deminished and some may not even want to pay what they would have in the oringinal condition. Rule of thumb, don't do it.

tateuts
02-26-2005, 08:12 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> If you are doing it for yourself go ahead, otherwuse don't.
A refinished cue will limit your market as far as buyers. It adds very little value if any to the cue. IE. you sell a Balabushka cue UNrefinished, it may decreses the value only by the cost of the job say a few hundred dollars. It is a small bargaining chip and never stands in the way of the sale. Once refinished your buyer market has deminished and some may not even want to pay what they would have in the oringinal condition. Rule of thumb, don't do it. <hr /></blockquote>


That pretty much sums it up and I buy that.

In selling and what have you, from personal experience I haven't noticed a big price difference one way or another. Like you said, I don't think you get the resoration money back you put into a cue and it may not lower the price but it might scare off a seasoned collector. I think they are also concerned about "what else?" was done to the cue if it's be re-done.

Some people look too damn closely at cues and psyche themselves out. I had one guy who saw a dark grain (sugar) line on a shaft and accused me of laminating the shaft back together after it split!

Oh well...

Chris

Ps. I e-mailed those photos of the old Palmer too, thanks!

Popcorn
02-27-2005, 12:24 AM
I looked at the pictures and they are different colors and the points look much shorter. That cue looks like a popular cue that Palmer sold back then. I owned a lot of Palmers. They played pretty good and were easy to get. They had one model that sold for $40.00. It looked like a house cue blank with a brass joint and nylon wrap. I must have owned a 5 or 6 of those, Kind of like a disposable cue. If it got stolen in a bar or something you just bought another one. I had a Paradise that looked a little like yours that had the Paradise name under the plastic ring. I bought it off a guy and it turned out to be stolen and I gave it back to the owner. That was the only Paradise I ever owned. I was kind of a cue nut and owned a lot of different cues. I really didn't like the look of the Paradise cues though with all the plastic rings.

tateuts
02-27-2005, 12:29 AM
Thanks, Popcorn.

mksmith713
02-27-2005, 05:54 AM
I have a very old cue that I'm told was a house cue that and old cuemaker by the name of Hawkins converted into a really nice 2 piece.
The thing with this cues is, over the years changes have occurred to the wood thet make the rings not quite as flush as they used to be.
Another thing I'd like to change is the size of the shaft.
It's 14mm, which is way too big for me. I'd settle on 13mm but prefer 12.5mm
It's straight as an arrow and has an oil rubbed finish.
I really like this cue and would love to play with it regularly but those damn rings drive me nuts and shaft size.
I'd like to have the cue refinished so everything is flush.
How does everyone feel about this.
If I do have it refinished, should I keep the oil finish or should I get it finished in epoxy?

tateuts
02-27-2005, 08:56 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote mksmith713:</font><hr> I have a very old cue that I'm told was a house cue that and old cuemaker by the name of Hawkins converted into a really nice 2 piece.
The thing with this cues is, over the years changes have occurred to the wood thet make the rings not quite as flush as they used to be.
Another thing I'd like to change is the size of the shaft.
It's 14mm, which is way too big for me. I'd settle on 13mm but prefer 12.5mm
It's straight as an arrow and has an oil rubbed finish.
I really like this cue and would love to play with it regularly but those damn rings drive me nuts and shaft size.
I'd like to have the cue refinished so everything is flush.
How does everyone feel about this.
If I do have it refinished, should I keep the oil finish or should I get it finished in epoxy? <hr /></blockquote>

Sure, get it redone. Sounds like the cue has more value to you as a player than a collectible (not that it's not a good old cue but the famous maker is what does it). Oil finish would probably look best on it. Although there are many who easily could do the job, someone like Jim Buss would be good for all that work including a nice oil finish. When you get into re-tapering shafts, you want an experienced cue-maker, because it changes the playing characteristics of the cue.

Here's Jim's web site:

www.jimbuss.com (http://www.jimbuss.com)

mksmith713
02-27-2005, 10:08 AM
If I decide to break down and spend the $$$ to rework this cue, I plan on having a second shaft made as well.
It really strange that this old, converted house cue seems to play better than any other cue I've ever owned.

I'm wondering if anyone has ever heard of the guy who did the original work.
I'm told his last name is Hawkins.
I'll do more research. Maybe it's worth something monetarily.
Not that it's for sale....:)

mksmith713
02-27-2005, 10:19 AM
Here's a fewhotos of the cue I'm talking about.

http://www.villagephotos.com/pubbrowse.asp?folder_id=1206846

tateuts
02-27-2005, 12:00 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote mksmith713:</font><hr> Here's a fewhotos of the cue I'm talking about.

http://www.villagephotos.com/pubbrowse.asp?folder_id=1206846 <hr /></blockquote>

That's a pretty cool looking old cue - I don't know if I would mess with it too much.

If you really like to play it, maybe just get another shaft made up and a new oil finish. I would leave the wrap, ferrule, etc alone.

Chris

Chris Cass
02-27-2005, 04:29 PM
Tap, Tap, Tap. I agree totally.....C.C.

tateuts
02-27-2005, 04:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I looked at the pictures and they are different colors and the points look much shorter. That cue looks like a popular cue that Palmer sold back then. I owned a lot of Palmers. They played pretty good and were easy to get. They had one model that sold for $40.00. It looked like a house cue blank with a brass joint and nylon wrap. I must have owned a 5 or 6 of those, Kind of like a disposable cue. If it got stolen in a bar or something you just bought another one. I had a Paradise that looked a little like yours that had the Paradise name under the plastic ring. I bought it off a guy and it turned out to be stolen and I gave it back to the owner. That was the only Paradise I ever owned. I was kind of a cue nut and owned a lot of different cues. I really didn't like the look of the Paradise cues though with all the plastic rings. <hr /></blockquote>

I sent a couple more photo's to your e-mail. I hope they bring back good old memories from one cue nut to another.

Chris

mksmith713
02-27-2005, 05:29 PM
I went through a phase were I was trying to buy up an many old cues as I could afford and get my hands on.
This is the only one I have left, though I did have a decent Rich that played pretty well too.
Ultimately, the offer that someone made for the cue won out over nostalgia.

Scott Lee
02-28-2005, 02:35 PM
DO NOT REFINISH THAT CUE! I just found out a few months ago about an unknown cuemaker by the name of Bill Hawkens. To my knowledge, he only made FIVE cues...EVER! They were well made, and have extreme collectible value. If your cue was "made" by him, you have a rare thing. Hope to see you in MD sometime soon!

Scott Lee

mksmith713
02-28-2005, 04:33 PM
Hey Scott....I'll be seeing you at Gayles.
I'll be sure to bring that cue with me.